Sous Vide Steaks
Meat Hacks: Sous Vide Steak
Learn about Sous Vide Cooking a Steak with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
Is Sous Vide the best way to cook Steak?
Most of you who have watched any of our past videos or read my posts on meatgistics.com about steaks know that I am huge proponent of the reverse sear method of cooking steaks, of everything I have tried it has given me the best and most consistent results. Today we are going to try something that I’ve been told will have a real chance at changing my mind.
You might have seen a few videos showing cooking sous vide steak already and we don’t want to do the same old thing so we are going to see what the difference is when we sous vide a steak for 24 hours, 8 hr, 4 hrs or 1 hr. I have a feeling the 24 hour one is going to be overly tender, though that sounds insane to say. So we have vacuum packed 4 steaks and have them all set to be done at the same time.
Sous Vide cooking operates off a similar theory as the reverse searing method but it does seem to have some advantages. With reverse searing we start our steak off in an oven or grill at low temperatures for around an hour or until the internal temp is about 125ish degrees. We then pull it from the oven or grill and finish it up in a pan or hot grill to sear the outside. Sous Vide does the same thing but it uses water as the heat source and since the steak will be vacuum packed we will probably lose even less juice during this stage. Another advantage is that we can leave the steak in there pretty much as long as we want, in fact the longer the steak sits in there the more tender it will be as the heat will continue to break down the collagen and proteins. Then we sear it for a minute or two a side and we should end up with a perfectly cooked steak.
The 24 hour steak ended up tasting more like a roast than a steak. It was still very good and it was incredibly tender but it no longer tasted like steak.
The 8 hour steak was just about perfect, it was extremely tender and had a great taste. You could really almost cut this steak with a fork.
The 4 hour steak was very similar to the 8 hour steak, maybe not as tender but still more tender than the reverse sear method and had a great taste.
The 1 hour steak had a significant texture difference from the others. It was more like something that was cooked on the grill, this was the only one that was clearly less tender than the reverse sear method.
So the answer to the question of is Sous Vide really better than the Reverse Seared Method is, mostly yes. The optimal time seems to be somewhere between 4-8 hours for tenderness and taste. Even a perfectly reverse seared steak will have some gradient from brown to pink around the edges. With the Sous Vide Cooker you get your thin crust and then perfectly pink inside all the way through!
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dennishoddy last edited by
Sous Vide is the only way we do steaks now.
4 hours is the max as after that it just gets too tender. As meatgistisc said, it turns into a roads that has been overcooked.
We use our slow cooker with a temp controller for a cheap version of the commercial model.
This unit is under $40. Its very accurate for keeping the water temps within 1 degree.
Its also capable of being calibrated if your don’t trust it. We have one and love it.
Thanks for doing the Sous Vide video, I agree it is the only way I will ever cooks steaks again… but, that being said, it is capable of so much more than just being a “boil in bag” cooker…
I am assuming that like most supermarket meat today you were using “choice grade” meat… At a 4 hr cook time you have broken down sufficient connective tissue in the steak to actually elevate it’s tenderness to just about the level of a piece of prime beef. If instead you had started with a piece of prime or wagu, you would want to cut back to the 1 hr. cook time…
One of my favorite meals is prime rib… when you can actually find a piece of “prime”, as well as afford it… I have been able to virtually duplicate the taste and texture of a prime rib roast using a boneless chuck roast (choice), placed in the SV for about 18 hours… since the chuck is a tougher piece of meat, the longer cooking time will bring the texture into the range of some of the most tender prime rib you have ever tried, but since it’s a tougher piece of meat 18 hours wont turn it into a piece of pot roast (I’ve gone 24+ hours and at that point the meat does degrade to the consistency of mush).
Also, Annova seems to have written the most common SV cookbook on the internet at this time… I would be careful using their recipes as I have not found them to be that good… Their corned beef recipe calls for adding stout beer to the bag (big mistake, it tasted terrible), it also called for cooking for 48 hours… We ended up with very mushy meat that just did not cut it… although I added some potatoes and onions the next day and it ended up being the perfect consistancy for corned beef hash (but still had that stout flavor…blech!)
I SV’d a batch of breakfast sausage I made, and it came out ok, but not great… I tried a 2nd batch and only left it in for about 1/2 hr @ 135… it came out only part cooked, but when I finished it in a 400 degree oven, it was INCREDIBLE!!!
I’ve only had mine since Nov, and have been experimenting with various meats, eggs, veggies, etc… also incorporating it in conjunction with the smoker… There is definitely a learning curve, but it’s worth it!!!
@raider2119 sGreat post! We were talking about Prime Rib here and how it would be if we Sous Vide it so we will definitely do some testing on that, thanks for the advice and maybe we will do a side by side comparison of Chuck in Sous Vide vs normal Prime Rib?
You bring up a great point on the Waygu or Prime. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable enough yet doing Waygu this way, I’ve just had way too good of results with traditionally methods of cooking that to risk doing anything else. Specifically longer cook times, even at lower temps would make me nervous that I would somehow destroy the marbling and tenderness, maybe I will try it some day if I ever have a bunch more Waygu (I can only dream for that to happen again!)
Thanks for the input on the Breakfast Sausage, we had also been wondering about that. We sous vide some pepperoni the other day (smoked the rest) and the taste was amazing but the texture and appearance were all wrong, just FYI for anyone thinking about trying that!
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Weekly Blog Post - Octopus and Squid, Vacuum Packing
Find out what's going on at Walton's and Meatgistics this week. We will have a loose schedule for soon to be released videos, what we are working on long-term and maybe a few quick tips and tricks that are on our mind!What Videos are being released soon?
Depending on what you see as soon we will have the almost complete first round of Meatgistics University Classes released. We have broken everything down into these categories; Meat Processing Equipment, Seasoning and Additives, Fresh Sausage, Cured Sausage, Jerky, Sausage Casings, Deli Meats, Smoked Meats, Cured Whole Muscle Meats, and Specialty Sausages. Each of these topics will have multiple entry-level classes covering topics like the type of casing to use, equipment needed and a basic processing class where appropriate.What Projects are we looking ahead at?
We are going to be doing two new Will it BBQ’s, hopefully, this week where we try BBQ’ing Squid and Octopus! The squid was a suggestion by Bob Zambutto through Walton’s Inc Facebook account! I had been wanting to do both of these for a while and when I went to our local Asian Grocery Store (Tai Binh for anyone local to Wichita, KS) and they had lots of options for both, they have almost anything and I got a few more weird ideas while I was there! Anyway, I picked up some baby octopus and a full size one, some small squid and two large ones as well. I am excited and nervous to see how this goes if nothing else it should be fun to watch!What’s on our Mind?
Did you know that you shouldn’t vacuum pack Mushrooms or Garlic? I was reading a Vacmaster VP120 instruction manual the other day and I saw an interesting note that said not to vacuum pack Garlic or Mushrooms! I had no idea that you shouldn’t do this so I thought I would share that with meatgistics readers to let you know not to do it as well. Apparently, they both are prone to bacteria that will continue to grow in oxygen-free environments. I was hoping it was something more impressive than that but it is good information to have.New Products
22" X 24" Collagen Sheets This are typically used for larger whole muscle cuts of meat, like when you are making prosciutto, capocollo, or other dried hams. This is an item that we have had lots of requests for over the years so we were happy to finally find a reliable and reputable source for it.
Thanks for the response!
I think a video on processed celery would be incredible. The only place I have been able to find celery powder as a cure was from “The Sausage Maker”, they have a Facebook page. It was expensive, designed only for sausages, and wasn’t packaged well.
As for the tackiness, good idea with the cornstarch! There are a bunch of big brands with zero additives that were able to achieve the soft texture with no tackiness, so I’m thinking it has to be in the processing. I read an article where someone at KRAVE mentioned a couple details about how they process their jerky. He said they first inject the meat, then cook the whole pieces, then slice, then marinate, then dry. I have messed around with the idea behind this process a lot. Injecting with brine, sous-viding at a variety of temperatures and times, slicing, marinating, and drying. Decent results, but to be honest the high sugar method you introduced to me has seemed to have better results.
Anyway, I will keep trying to figure this out and will definitely keep you guys posted if I make any headway. In the meantime, if there is anything else you think might be worth testing, please let me know! It would be great to try and perfect this process together.
@bob-s-meatgistics I moved one of my first pork butts into the oven and my whole house smelled like smoke. My wife did not stop complaining for a week until the smell was gone from both the house and the oven. I finish all my cooks outside. If you wrap it to speed up the cook you may want to unwrap it for the last hour to put the bark back on it.
@jonathon I am definitely going to purchase and follow the steps you’ve post, thank you sir! Additionally, if anyone has recipes, please share. I’ll try them all and post what my family thought of each. Thank you all, this is a very cool and educational blog, glad I found it wish it was years ago! Thanks again.